Friday, September 10, 2021

Support vs intervention

Mainstream and extension classes are able to access the  year level curriculum as set by the Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA).  Some students for a range of reasons are unable to access this curriculum.  To assist them requires a level of differentiation either through ongoing additional support or intervention.

Reasons for requiring differentiation are extensive.  Gaps in conceptual understanding happen for many reasons - illness, teaching quality, taking holidays during term, sporting commitments, lack of ability, mental health, lack of cultural support, lack of confidence, peer conflict, family conflict.  

Whether a child requires ongoing additional support or intervention requires careful analysis to see if it is feasible to bridge the student back to the year level curriculum or if they will require ongoing additional support throughout schooling.

Support classes acknowledge that students are unlikely to access the year level curriculum and are typically assessed against what they can do through procedures such as SEN reporting.  This allows the  student to achieve success in the classroom and promotes engagement.  Parents need to be informed and on board with the decision if students are moved to supported environments.  It is not a decision that can be made lightly.

Intervention is different, is less frequently done during normal classroom time and typically done through tutoring and outside of the classroom.  When done in the classroom, interventions are measures introduced that assist students learn the behaviours and techniques known by mainstream students whilst preventing the student from falling further behind.  This means that students that are behind, have to work harder in class than students on syllabus, to catch up, something difficult to achieve with struggling students.  EALD students and highly motivated students are groups where catchup is possible, particularly where literacy is the inhibitor.

Streams encounter the issues solved through intervention frequently as behaviours required in higher streams need to be taught to students in lower streams to increase the chances of success prior to transition.  Where this is not done effectively, students are less likely to find success in classes that they are moved to and transition takes longer to achieve.  Typically intervention during transition is required in the form of encouragement, academic assistance and peer alignment to bridge students to the requirements of the new stream.

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